A  R  T  S

written by Martin Stepek

I sing the song of Maczkowce

I sing the song of Maczkowce
Which was born and died in struggle

Not a great city like London
Just a tiny settlement
With no claim to greatness

Not the birthplace of Einstein or Pele
Just normal folk, young couples, young children
Unremarkable, not worth remembering
You may think.

I sing the song of Maczkowce

Of its birth, its effort
Its desperate strangled end
Which no one knows about

Not a historic crime like Auschwitz

Just a minor atrocity
Run of the mill in its way

Never worthy of a place in your heart
Or in the text books of your schools
Just a hundred or so villagers

Taken to Siberia as was the way in those days

I sign the song of Maczkowce
Damn it. It deserves to be sung.
Why should my father’s village
Not be counted in the annals
Of the human tragedies that matter?

I sing the song
Even if I sing it only to myself.
I will not be dumb to the starvation of my grandmother

Or her neighbours, or the children who perished

It doesn’t need to be famous to be fixed in your brain forever.
The resting places of the citizens of Maczkowce
In Tehran, Kazakhstan, Berlin, Hamilton even

Are the source of the pain in everyone’s heart

So I sing this song, it’s your song
The song of your loss
The song of your forgetfulness
To remind you
Of Maczkowce
Ripped from the map of the world
But not from our joint human suffering

I sing the song of the immortality of Maczkowce.

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